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Recent Longevity News for the week ending 1/8/20

Can the flu shot help fight cancer? - Science Daily, 1/7/20 - "Five different influenza shots for the 2017-2018 flu season were used in this research. Four were effective in achieving the same results in fighting tumors"

Don't Believe Online Claims for Pot's 'Benefits' - WebMD, 1/2/20 - "A lot of the dope you read online about the benefits of marijuana is just hooey, but it can influence attitudes and actions ... Researchers used a tool called a Botometer to gauge whether posts came from users or from automated software called bots ... What we found was that the proportion of bot posts that talked about health claims was larger than the proportion among non-bot accounts ... Moreover, researchers found no reference to scientifically proven uses for pot"

Keep exercising: New study finds it's good for your brain's gray matter - Science Daily, 1/2/20 - "Brain tissue is made up of gray matter, or cell bodies, and filaments, called white matter, that extend from the cells. The volume of gray matter appears to correlate with various skills and cognitive abilities. The researchers found that increases in peak oxygen uptake were strongly associated with increased gray matter volume ... The results suggest cardiorespiratory exercise may contribute to improved brain health and decelerate a decline in gray matter. An editorial by three Mayo Clinic experts that accompanies the Mayo Clinic Proceedings study says the results are "encouraging, intriguing and contribute to the growing literature relating to exercise and brain health." ... According to Mayo Clinic experts, moderate and regular exercise -- about 150 minutes per week -- is recommended. Good cardiorespiratory fitness also involves: Not smoking ... Following healthy eating habits ... Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight level ... Managing blood pressure and avoiding hypertension ... Controlling cholesterol levels ... Reducing blood sugar, which over time can damage your heart and other organs"

Skincare 101: The only products you need to get good skin - CNET, 1/1/20 - "According to dermatologist Amie Sessa, you should use a gentle cleanser and avoid using too-hot water (which can be harsh on your face). Campbell's favorite cleansers are Cetaphil Gentle, CeraVe Hydrating or Skinceuticals Gentle Cleanser ... Once you cleanse, you can immediately follow with a moisturizer, or add an antioxidant serum before you moisturize if you'd like. "Antioxidants should be used during the day, as this is when you are most exposed to sun and pollution. They cause reactive oxygen species (i.e., free radicals) that break down collagen and elastin (the building blocks of the skin) and mutate DNA leading to sagging, dull and pigmented skin," Campbell says ... For dry or combination skin types she recommends a moisturizing serum with Vitamin C and ferulic acid, and for oily skin, an antioxidant serum that is lightweight or oil-free if you're prone to breakouts. If you want to add an extra boost of hydration, hyaluronic acid is a great option for layering under a moisturizer and works for most skin types. It also layers well with other products and is gentle."

6 common skincare mistakes that can wreck your skin - CNET, 1/1/20 - "Essential oils may be all the rage, but it turns out they may not be great directly on your skin ... "I'm not saying that none of them are safe, but essential oils are often extremely concentrated and can cause skin reactions. 'Natural' does not always equate to good for the skin (poison ivy is natural, too!)," Sessa said. Campbell agrees, saying that many essential oils are a cause of contact skin allergies. She recommends avoiding them (and other fragrance in products) if you experience rash or irritation"

Filter Coffee Tied to Lower Diabetes Risk in Metabolomics Study - Medscape, 12/31/19 - "Adults who drank two to three cups of filtered coffee a day (the highest quartile of filtered coffee–metabolite score) had a 58% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years than those who drank fewer than one cup of filtered coffee a day (lowest quartile)"

Regular Cannabis Use Linked to Cardiac Abnormalities - Medscape, 12/30/19 - "The study was published online December 21 as a letter in JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging ... "It has been shown before that the frequent use of marijuana increased the risk of myocardial infarction and hypoxemia, but a direct pathological effect on the heart has not been shown until now," Oberbarnscheidt told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology"

Intermittent fasting: Live 'fast,' live longer? - Science Daily, 12/26/19 - "Intermittent fasting diets, he says, fall generally into two categories: daily time-restricted feeding, which narrows eating times to 6-8 hours per day, and so-called 5:2 intermittent fasting, in which people limit themselves to one moderate-sized meal two days each week ... An array of animal and some human studies have shown that alternating between times of fasting and eating supports cellular health, probably by triggering an age-old adaptation to periods of food scarcity called metabolic switching. Such a switch occurs when cells use up their stores of rapidly accessible, sugar-based fuel, and begin converting fat into energy in a slower metabolic process ... studies have shown that this switch improves blood sugar regulation, increases resistance to stress and suppresses inflammation. Because most Americans eat three meals plus snacks each day, they do not experience the switch, or the suggested benefits ... four studies in both animals and people found intermittent fasting also decreased blood pressure, blood lipid levels and resting heart rates ... intermittent fasting could benefit brain health too. A multicenter clinical trial at the University of Toronto in April found that 220 healthy, nonobese adults who maintained a calorie restricted diet for two years showed signs of improved memory in a battery of cognitive tests"

High-Driving Arrests Rise, But There’s Nuance in the Numbers - NBC, 12/25/19 - "In the first year that recreational marijuana was legal in Vermont, the number of drivers arrested by state police for impaired driving who had THC in their systems more than doubled"

Abstracts from this week:

Higher Omega-3 Index Is Associated with Better Asthma Control and Lower Medication Dose: A Cross-Sectional Study - Nutrients. 2019 Dec 27;12(1) - "Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease, associated with systemic inflammation. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) have established anti-inflammatory effects, thus having potential as an adjunct therapy in asthma ... Juniper Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) ... A higher O3I was observed in subjects with controlled or partially controlled asthma (ACQ < 1.5) compared to subjects with uncontrolled asthma (ACQ ≥ 1.5) (6.0% (5.4-7.2) versus 5.6% (4.6-6.4) p = 0.033). Subjects with a high O3I (≥8%) had a lower maintenance dose of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) compared to those with a low O3I (<8%) (1000 μg (400-1000) versus 1000 μg (500-2000) p = 0.019). This study demonstrates that a higher O3I is associated with better asthma control and with lower ICS dose, suggesting that a higher erythrocyte n-3 PUFA level may have a role in asthma management" - See omega-3 supplements at Amazon.com.

The effect of coffee consumption on insulin sensitivity and other biological risk factors for type 2 diabetes: a randomized placebo-controlled trial - Am J Clin Nutr. 2019 Dec 31 - "Participants in the coffee arm experienced a loss of fat mass (FM) (-3.7%; 95% CI: -6.3, -1.1%; P = 0.006) and reduction in urinary creatinine concentrations (-21.2%; 95% CI: -31.4, -9.5%; P = 0.001) compared with participants in the placebo arm over 24 wk of intervention"

Association between Depressive Symptoms and Supplemental intake of Calcium and Vitamin D in Older Adults - J Nutr Health Aging. 2020;24(1):107-112 - "When compared to the non-supplementation group, the Ca group exhibited a significant odds ratio (OR) of 0.731 (95% CI: 0.552-0.967, P=0.028). After adjusting for age, sex, and Ca food sources, the OR was even smaller for the CaD group (OR: 0.326; 95% CI: 0.119-0.889, P=0.029). Additionally, our results indicated that taking Ca supplements ≥4 days/week yielded a significant OR of 0.690 (95% CI: 0.492-0.968) after full adjustment. Taking CaD supplements ≥4 days/week yielded a significant OR of 0.282 (95% CI: 0.089-0.898) after adjusting for age, sex, and Ca food sources ... Supplemental intake of Ca or CaD ≥4 days/week can decrease the risk of depressive symptoms in older adults, although CaD supplements may be more effective"

Fructo-oligosaccharides lower serum lipid levels and suppress high-fat/high-sugar diet-induced inflammation by elevating serum and gut levels of short-chain fatty acids - J Int Med Res. 2019 Dec 31 - Note:  It doesn't show that abstract but I guess the title summarizes it.

Ginsenoside Rg3 Attenuates Angiotensin II-Mediated Renal Injury in Rats and Mice by Upregulating Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 in the Renal Tissue - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Nov 29 - "Angiotensin II- (Ang II-) mediated renal injury represents a major pathogenetic mechanism in most chronic kidney diseases. Our previous research demonstrated that ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3) attenuates Ang II elevation in the myocardium in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). It is possible that Rg3 has similar effects in the renal tissue. In this research, we first demonstrated that Rg3 could attenuate Ang II increase in the kidney of SHR and reduce hypertensive nephropathy progression. Then, we found that Rg3 attenuated Ang II increase by upregulating angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the renal tissue. We confirmed this finding in an exogenous Ang II-infused mice model of renal injury, and two models showed consistent results. In conclusion, Rg3 attenuates Ang II-mediated renal injury in rats and mice by upregulating ACE2 in the renal tissue. This research is the first to demonstrate that Rg3 increases tissue ACE2 levels in vivo" - See ginseng at Amazon.com.

Stingless Bee Honey Improves Spatial Memory in Mice, Probably Associated with Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) and Inositol 1,4,5-Triphosphate Receptor Type 1 (Itpr1) Genes - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019 Dec 2;2019:8258307 - "This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of stingless bee honey (SBH) supplementation on memory and learning in mice. Despite many studies that show the benefits of honey on memory, reports on the nootropic effects of SBH are still lacking, and their underlying mechanism is still unclear. SBH is a honey produced by the bees in the tribe of Meliponini that exist in tropical countries. It features unique storage of honey collected in cerumen pots made of propolis. This SBH may offer a better prospect for therapeutic performance as the previous report identifies the presence of antioxidants that were greater than other honey produced by Apis sp ...Results indicate spatial working memory and spatial reference memory of mice were significantly improved in the honey-treated group compared with the control group. Improved memory consolidations were also observed in prolonged supplementation. Gene expression analyses of acutely treated mice demonstrated significant upregulation of BDNF and Itpr1 genes that involve in synaptic function. NMR analysis also identified phenylalanine, an essential precursor for tyrosine that plays a role at the BDNF receptor. In conclusion, SBH supplementation for seven days at 2000 mg/kg, which is equivalent to a human dose of 162 mg/kg, showed strong capabilities to improve spatial working memory. And prolonged intake up to 35 days increased spatial reference memory in the mice model. The phenylalanine in SBH may have triggered the upregulation of BDNF genes in honey-treated mice and improved their spatial memory performance" - See stingless bee honey at Amazon.com.

Enzymatically modified isoquercitrin improves endothelial function in volunteers at risk of cardiovascular disease - Br J Nutr. 2019 Aug 20:1-8 - "A higher intake of food rich in flavonoids such as quercetin can reduce the risk of CVD. Enzymatically modified isoquercitrin (EMIQ®) has a bioavailability 17-fold higher than quercetin aglycone and has shown potential CVD moderating effects in animal studies. The present study aimed to determine whether acute ingestion of EMIQ® improves endothelial function, blood pressure (BP) and cognitive function in human volunteers at risk of CVD ... flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) ... EMIQ® treatment resulted in a significantly higher FMD response compared with the placebo (1·80 (95 % CI 0·23, 3·37) %; P = 0·025). Plasma concentrations of quercetin metabolites were significantly higher (P < 0·001) after EMIQ® treatment compared with the placebo. No changes in BP, arterial stiffness, cognitive function or biochemical parameters were observed. In this human intervention study, the acute administration of EMIQ® significantly increased circulating quercetin metabolites and improved endothelial function" - See EMIQ® at Amazon.com.

Effects of phytosterols supplementation on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis - J. ClNu, Dec 12, 2019 - "supplementation with phytosterols can decrease both systolic BP (WMD: −1.55 mmHg, 95% CI: −2.67 to −0.42, p = 0.007) and diastolic BP (WMD: −0.84 mmHg, 95% CI: −1.60 to −0.08, p = 0.03). Dose–response analysis revealed that phytosterol intake change SBP significantly based on treatment dose in nonlinear fashion. Subgroup analysis based on duration showed a significant effect of phytosterol on SBP and DBP in subsets of <12 weeks. In addition, a significant effect of phytosterol was observed in dosage of ≥2000 mg for SBP and <2000 mg for DBP" - [Nutra USA] - See phytosterols at Amazon.com.

International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Probiotics - J Inter Society of Sports Nutri, 19 Dec 2019 - "Given all the known benefits and favorable safety profile of probiotic supplementation reported in the scientific and medical literature, probiotics are commonly used to optimize the health of athletes. Regular consumption of specific probiotic strains may assist with immune function and may reduce the number of sick days an athlete experiences when training or during competition. Certain probiotic strains may reduce the severity of respiratory infection and GI disturbance when they occur. Probiotic benefits are strain specific and dose dependent, and include improved gut-barrier function, nutrient absorption, recovery and performance in athletes. When choosing a probiotic product, athletes are encouraged to use clinically researched strains with validated benefits, matching the athletes desired health benefit. Studies investigating the effects of probiotics in athletic populations and on sports performance are limited and warrant further investigation" - [Nutra USA] - See probiotic supplements at Amazon.com.

Neat Tech Stuff / "How To's":

I thought I had shingles. While I was waiting for a doctor’s appointment, I ordered this cream for shingles. It was amazing. It cleared up the rash nearly overnight. That said, the doctor said it wasn’t shingles. I swim everyday and sometimes I use the jacuzzi while I’m waiting for a lane to become available. The doctor thinks it was from the Jacuzzi.

Health Focus (Quercetin):